Under the policy outlined in the Justice Department's intensely controversial Thompson Memorandum, it's considered a mark of appropriate contrition in a business enterprise to refuse to advance legal fees to indicted employees, and the advancement of such funds may in fact be construed as a sign that the enterprise is unrepentant, uncooperative with prosecutors, and deserving of more severe punishment. So how does the federal government react when its own employees are indicted for alleged misconduct in carrying out official duties? Well, if they're FBI agents indicted over the Ruby Ridge incident, the answer is...it pays their legal fees. Washington attorney John T. Boese of Fried Frank explains that companies struggling with Thompson-memo issues may be able to throw the government's own prior position back at it (PDF).
Paying indicted employees' legal fees